"Heart of the Matter" is the 11th episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
Alice and Cyrus discover alarming information involving prisoners Jafar has under his control and changes their priorities. Meanwhile, Anastasia is in critical danger and no one can help her except Will by surrendering information to Jafar that he's been desperately seeking. In flashback, Anastasia is about to marry the King and strikes up a friendship with Cora that directly impacts Will. Cora also confronts Will resulting with him asking her for a shocking demand.
Previously in Wonderland...
Will witnesses as Anastasia is announced the new Queen of Wonderland. ("Heart of Stone") Will rejects Anastasia, who wants him back, years later, for tossing him aside all for a crown. ("Home") Cyrus shows Alice the gift his mother gave to him: the Lost and Found, which he later goes to trade to the Caterpillar. ("Home") Anastasia tells Tweedledum that Jafar has released the Jabberwocky, and now has all three genie bottles, so Wonderland is doomed. ("Dirty Little Secrets") Cyrus is told by Nyx that his mother still lives. ("Dirty Little Secrets")
The Caterpillar strikes up a deal...
In the Underland of Wonderland, Cyrus makes his way down a flight of stairs to the bar-like establishment. When walking through, a random woman runs her hand across his cheek when walking by, herself. As the former genie continues strolling on through, man blows smoke from his nose into Cyrus' face, which he simply ignores. The former genie finally makes his way to the Caterpillar, who exclaims, "Ah, long time no see, genie." Cyrus corrects the Caterpillar, however, stating he is no longer a genie; the Caterpillar asks if he should offer "congratulations or condolences." Cyrus states that he seeks neither, but that he's there about an item he traded the Caterpillar long ago: the Lost and Found; he asks if the creatures still has it. The Caterpillar states that that depends on how much it's worth to Cyrus, who replies that it's worth a great deal to him, but that he has little to pay. He was instead hoping they could come to an alternative arrangement. The Caterpillar's servant whispers into the Caterpillar's ear, causing him to chuckle, and he offers Cyrus back the compass in exchange for Alice and the Knave of Hearts.
...which Cyrus rejects.
"You're still interested in them?" Cyrus asks, as he briefly looks at the ground to see a miniature Alice run past his feet and underneath the canopy that stands behind the Caterpillar. The creature states that they have an unpaid debt, but Cyrus replies that bounty hunting isn't really his thing. "And charity isn't mine." Alice is seen looking around, and soon finds the compass. "I guess you'll be leaving empty handed then," the Caterpillar remarks, but Cyrus sees Alice emerging from the canopy, dragging the compass. "Not entirely," Cyrus replies, grabbing a drink off of a tray a waiter is seen carrying by, "You just bought me a drink." The Caterpillar chuckles as Cyrus walks off, but a burly guy stops the former genie, stating that he took his drink, and needs to pay for it. Cyrus, seemingly not caring, tells him to put it on his tab. The burly guy pulls out a knife, however, stating "why not I put you on your arse?" He goes to cut Cyrus, but the former genie dodges it, as does he when another group of men come for him. As a fight breaks out, Cyrus sees Alice with the compass and grabs them both as he exits the establishment.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND
Jafar has trouble casting a spell.
In the Red Queen's castle, the Jabberwocky lies on a bed, watching as Jafar reads through an ancient book about genies. He flips the pages and reads a bit more before blurting out a foreign word. He approaches the three genie bottles and raises his hand, proceeding to cast a spell. The spell causes the bottles, along with the castle to shake. The Jabberwocky looks up at this, fascinated.
Meanwhile, in the dungeons of the castle, the room deteriorates above Anastasia and the former Sultan of Agrabah, who sit prisoner in their cells. The old prisoner looks up, startled by the spell that shakes the dungeon, and asks the imprisoned Red Queen what that is. "Magic," she exclaims, to which the former Sultan replies in fear that he's never seen magic do that. Anastasia replies that he'd be surprised what magic could do.
Anastasia meets her beloved Tweedles for the very first time...
Years earlier, in flashback, a younger Anastasia watches in her castle as men set up for an upcoming event. The soon-to-be Queen is approached by two men in white-powdery wigs, who later become the Tweedles she has in the present day. "Milady," exclaims one, causing Ana to turn around and look up. The two bow for her; she states that she didn't see them there and that she's sorry. There's a moment of awkward silence before the soon-to-be Queen asks who they are, to which another replies they're her Tweedles. "My Tweedles?" Anastasia asks, confused, but laughs anyway. "At your service," the one who goes onto be known as Tweedledum replies, causing him and his brother, Tweedledee, to once again bow. Anastasia asks what their names are, but Tweedledee reveals a servant does not have a name, as they're defined by the work they do. Tweedledum looks up, as if remembering something, and asks if they should prepare the tea for her arrival. "For whose arrival?" the soon-to-be Queen asks, causing the two Tweedles to point behind her. She turns and sees none other than the Queen of Hearts approach her, exclaiming, "Hello, Anastasia." Ana bows at the sight of one of Wonderland's other known rulers, and welcomes her into her castle. The Queen of Hearts, Cora, however, states that tomorrow is Anastasia's wedding day and she is to be Queen of the castle they are currently in, so it is her who should be the one differing. As Cora begins walking, Anastasia turns to her Tweedles, impressed, but then quickly hurries so she walks alongside the Queen; the Tweedles follow. Anastasia states that she was very honored Cora accepted their invitation, to which she replies that she was surprised to receive it since she and the Red King don't see eye to eye on anything.
...and the Queen of Hearts.
Ana states she didn't know that; Cora then uses magic to move a flower setup from one spot in the room to an other, stating that men like the King find her threatening. Ana appears a bit frightened now, but states the Red King doesn't believe royals should have magic, as it separates them from their subjects. Cora laughs at this, however, believing a little separation is a welcomed thing; she goes to say queens like them have a lot to think about, so why not use everything at their disposal to help them rule. "I guess I haven't thought about it that way," Ana replies. Cora then wonders if Ana could help steer the Red King to see her point of view; she also comments that Ana reminds her of herself, as she had humble beginnings too, but she sees her potential. The Queen of Hearts goes to say her own daughter has been a disappointment to her, and that Anastasia is much more the kind of daughter she'd chose to have if she was able to. "And should you chose to learn a touch of magic, I could teach you, and what the King won't know won't hurt him." Ana states she appreciates the offer, but she thinks keeping secrets is hardly a way to begin a marriage. However, Cora replies it's a wonderful way to begin a friendship. "Perhaps another time. Thank you, your majesty," Ana replies with a smile, to which Cora replies her door is always opens and begins walking away. The Tweedles bow to her, and the Queen of Hearts' guards follow.
Tweedledum warns Alice and Cyrus.
In the present day, back at their hideout in the Outlands, Cyrus is seen tampering with the Lost and Found. "Anything yet?" Alice asks, approaching him, to which Cyrus replies negatively, however, adding that if his mother is indeed alive then it should lead them right to her. Alice replies that hopefully it's before the Caterpillar realizes it's gone. "The Caterpillar is the least of your problems," exclaims Tweedledum, who emerges from the curtains, startling the couple. Cyrus goes to grab a knife, causing the Tweedle to raise his hands. "What are you doing here?" the former genie asks, to which Dum replies the Red Queen sent him to warn them that she was forced to make all three wishes and now Jafar "controls all three genies," Cyrus realizes, interrupting the servant. Tweedledum states that Ana wanted them to know so they could leave Wonderland while they still can and save themselves. Alice and Cyrus look at one another for a moment, and Cyrus looks back at the Tweedle, asking if there's a way into the palace. "Didn't you hear me? It's over. Jafar is going to do the spell-" but Alice interrupts, asking once more if there's a way into the palace. Tweedledum states that there are secret tunnels under the castle that he could show them. Cyrus looks at the magic compass he holds and puts it into his pocket, exclaiming "I guess this'll have to wait." As Alice and Cyrus, get ready, Tweedledum remembers there was something else he was suppose to tell them: Jafar has unleashed the Jabberwocky. A look of fear comes across Alice's face, and Cyrus asks what that means. "That we may be too late," she replies, now in a hurry.
The Jabberwocky reads Will.
Back at the Red Queen's castle, Jafar is still attempting to work the spell which continues shaking the fortress. After two more attempts, he finally stops, and the Jabberwocky asks what he intends to achieve with this spell. "If you can read my mind then you already know." However, the Jabberwocky states she cannot read his mind, but only his fear, and right now he's afraid he's doing something wrong. Jafar flips through pages in the spell book but can come up with nothing. He finally grabs one of the genie bottles and pops the top, releasing Will Scarlet. "Listen mate, would you mind keeping it down a bit? I'm trying to have a bit of a nap." Jafar asks how he's doing it, to which Will replies he closed his eyes and tried counting sheep, but that's not what the sorcerer is interested in knowing. Jafar states he's resisting the spell, and now he wants to know how. As Jafar approaches, the eyes on his serpent staff begin to glow, as if he's about to harm the genie, but the Jabberwocky interrupts, asking why not he let her talk to him, since that is why he has her there: to apply a woman's touch. "You think there's something wrong with him. Let me look inside; take a look around." The Jabberwocky looks at Will as she goes inside his head.
The Jabberwocky is unable to read Will.
Still at the Red Queen's castle, Jafar watches as the Jabberwocky circles Will and concentrates on his face. "What are you doing?" he asks, completely unphased. "Listening." "To what?" "You." "Oh." "Your deepest fears." Will states he'll save her some time, however, and begins naming them out: water, hairy spiders, being stabbed in the head, and raisins. He goes to say that grapes are fine, but raisins "no thank you." Jafar yells at him that that is enough. The Jabberwocky states she does not understand, to which Jafar asks "understand what?" The Jabberwocky reveals she cannot read them; there's something different about this genie. Jafar realizes it must be the Red Queen; she must have put some sort of a protection spell on him. The Jabberwocky asks why she would do that, and is told by the sorcerer that Will and the dethroned Queen have history. The Jabberwocky suggests that they may be talking to the wrong person, something Jafar agrees with. "Let's pay Anastasia a little visit," he exclaims.
Will begs Anastasia to run away with him.
In Wonderland of the past, Anastasia sits in the chambers of her castle, admiring a necklace she wears in the mirror. She's not alone for long, however, as Will makes his way up her balcony, leading into the room. This startles the soon-to-be Queen, who quickly rushes to her former lover, exclaiming his name. "Hello Ana," he replies. Anastasia asks what he's doing there, to which he replies, "I don't know? To see you? To look you in the eye and ask why you did it?" What the young former couple do not realize, however, is that Cora has entered, and is now hiding, listening to the conversation. Anastasia asks Will what he'd want her to say, to which he replies that maybe it was just a con; a play for the big prize; she'd marry the Red King, get the keys to the kingdom, and the next day they'd jump back through the Looking Glass and count their riches on the other side. "Please Ana, this isn't you." Ana ignores him, however, and grabs him by the arm, stating he has to go because if the guards catch him then they'll throw him in the dungeon. "So you do care?" "Of course I care! I'm trying to do what's best for both of us!" Will states that he's trying to believe that, but asks if she's forgotten all the good times they've had, such as making wine from wildflowers or naming the stars to fall asleep at night. "You named them all Anastasia," the soon-to-be Queen reminisces. Will states that it's the most beautiful name he's ever heard; he then begs Ana to run away with him, and they can forget any of this ever happened. Before Anastasia can reply, three of the King's guards enter, and one exclaims, "Intruder, halt!" As the guards go for Will, he tells Ana to meet him at the wagon at dawn as it's not too late to make things right. He jumps back over the balcony just as a guard arrives. "Are you alright?" he asks, to which Ana replies "yes," and thanks him for coming so quickly. She then walks back inside.
Alice and Cyrus return to save the day.
Back in the present day, Anastasia remains rotting in her cell. "You must hate Jafar more than anyone for keeping you locked away like this," she says to the former Sultan of Agrabah. He replies, however, that he believes Jafar to be as much his captive as he is his, stating that they make their own prisons. "I suppose we do." Ana and the Sultan then hear the door open, and Ana quickly stands to her feet. In comes Alice and Cyrus, who make their way to the Red Queen's cell. She worriedly asks what the two of them are doing there, as she told them to run. Cyrus asks where the genies are, to which Ana reveals Jafar has them and has begun his spell already. "Then we'll stop him," Alice states. As she tries hard not to cry, Ana thanks the two of them for coming back. "Ana, I-" Alice starts, but is interrupted by the dethroned Queen who states she knows they didn't come back for her, but she is still thankful. Meanwhile, Cyrus approaches the former Sultan, who exclaims "My friend," and the two have a brief reunion. Ana tells Alice that she can save Will, and she can save Wonderland, but suddenly the doors to the dungeon are heard opening once again. Cyrus hurries for Alice, as the two of them now must hide. In comes Jafar, followed by the Jabberwocky; the evil sorcerer proceeds to use magic to open the former Queen's cell.
"He doesn't have a heart."
"The Knave, my new genie, your old flame, what did you do to him?" he asks, approaching Ana in the cell. The Red Queen states she doesn't know what he means, to which he replies that she tricked him once with a counterfeit bottle, and now this one isn't responding to his spell. He goes on to say he is prepared to punish Ana severely until she tells him what she's done. Meanwhile, Alice and Cyrus listen to this, in fear. "I've done nothing, and even if I had I wouldn't tell you." A now very angered Jafar uses magic to slam Anastasia against the wall of her cell, and asks once more what is wrong with Will. The Jabberwocky speaks up, telling him to stand down, as she now has his answer. Jafar drops the Red Queen, and the Jabberwocky states she knows why the Knave isn't responding to the spell; it's the same reason why she couldn't read his fears: he doesn't have a heart. This shocks the Red Queen, and Jafar turns to her, stating she should know better than to keep secrets from him. The Jabberwocky states it wasn't the Queen's fears that gave it away, however; Jafar asks whose, and is soon told they're not alone in the dungeon; he has guests. Alice and Cyrus, who are still hidden, look at each other with fear in their eyes.
Jafar has the castle searched for "visitors".
Upon the discovery of intruders roaming the castle, Jafar has men set out to find Alice and Cyrus; he is soon approached by one of his guards, who reveals they have found a secret tunnel system, and deem the intruders to having escaped. "Secret tunnels?" Jafar questions before turning to the imprisoned Anastasia, questioning her knowledge on the subject. The Jabberwocky confirms that she knew of them, revealing that the Red King would use them to sneak his 'companions' in and out of the castle. Jafar smirks at this before making a comment about how he isn't the only one who grew tired of his partnership with the Queen; he then tells Anastasia that she's going to help him find the Knave's heart. She argues, however, that she didn't know it was even missing, so she questions how Jafar thinks she could possibly know where it is; she deems herself of no value to him. "True, but you still may be of value to someone else." Ana lets out a dreadful sigh at this comment as Jafar and the Jabberwocky watch the imprisoned, dethroned Queen.
Alice has an idea.
Meanwhile, far out from the castle, Alice and Cyrus are able to make their way out of the secret tunnels they used to sneak in. Cyrus realizes it was his true love whose fear the Jabberwocky was sensing, to which she replies it was as if she could feel the beast picking her apart from the inside, and now, because of her, they know about Will's heart, and she thinks it's only a matter of time before 'that beast' gets inside his head and finds out where the heart is located. Cyrus states that the only thing they can do now is find it before they do, but Alice reveals she already knows where to find it, but that getting it would be the tricky part. "Why's that?" Cyrus asks, to which Alice replies that it's not in Wonderland. Now knowing what to do, she tells him to come on, and begins running through the forest; Cyrus follows.
Ana is used as leverage.
Will is imprisoned in a cell in the dungeon of the castle, where Jafar questions the location of his heart. Will replies that he doesn't remember, and that locking him down there wouldn't do the Sorcerer much good anyway, seeing as how he has slept in worse places. "Have you ever slept next to a corpse?" Jafar asks, as he uses magic to raise the bars of Anastasia's cell. He proceeds to grab the resisting Red Queen, who tries to break free of the mad man. He holds her by the back of the neck, exclaiming to Will that since she's made her wishes, she's useless to him now, so he has no reason to keep her alive, but he thinks, perhaps, that Will does. He proceeds to pull out a knife, which he holds to Ana's throat. "Tell me exactly where your heart is or she dies. Simple enough?" Jafar exclaims. Ana, who is fighting to hold back tears, begs for her former lover not to do it. Will argues that he'll kill her, but the Red Queen states he'll still do it anyway, and that the Knave just needs to protect his heart. In order to get her to stop talking, Jafar starts applying pressure with the knife to Ana's throat, causing her to choke a little. "Tell me where, or tell her goodbye," Jafar demands. Will doesn't answer for a while, as he contemplates his next move. However, he finally answers that he'll do it. Satisfied with his response, Jafar releases the Red Queen, but slams her against the cell; she now has a cut on her throat from where the knife pierced her. "Why?" Ana cries, to which Will replies that his heart has already caused him enough suffering, and no one needs to die because of it - not even her.
Cora delivers news.
In flashbacks of Wonderland of the past, Will waits by the wagon he and Anastasia once resided in, for his true love to arrive and run away with him. The sound of leaves brushing together soon catch his attention, resulting him exclaiming, "Ana, you're early." However, it's not Anastasia, but instead the Queen of Hearts. "Will Scarlet, I presume," Cora says; the future Knave is surprised to see the Queen, but he bows, albeit, awkwardly, due to not knowing exactly how to. Cora laughs, but states that it is unnecessary, for she has come as a friend of Anastasia's, and is there on her behalf. Will realizes this means Ana isn't coming; Cora states that she has made her decision, that she has a new life now that is hard enough without old boyfriends distracting her with flights of fancy. Will questions if that's what the Queen thinks love is; Cora replies that she believes love is weakness, but that is just one opinion. "You don't look like someone who does other people's dirty work," Will states, to which Cora reminds him that, as she said, she's a friend. He then questions why a friend would keep Ana from following her heart, and so Cora replies that from her own experience, hearts are more trouble than what they're worth. Will, who is now trying to fight back tears, admins that the Queen may be right about that. He goes on to say that everyday, he wakes up thinking Ana may have changed her mind, remember how much she loved him, and that maybe she would finally come home, but she never does, and he ends up going to sleep alone, with her heart broken all over again, and then the sun comes up the next day, and he thinks, once more, that maybe it's the day.
Will makes a sacrifice.
"But it never is, is it?" Cora asks. Will shakes his head, and Cora states that it's time he realize it never will be, otherwise the pain in his heart will never ever go away. The Queen goes on to say that Will has served his purpose with Ana, that he brought her to Wonderland and helped her realize she was meant for more. She adds that everyone enters each other's lives for a reason, but sometimes it's just for a different one than they thought. Will replies that he thinks there's a reason Cora is in his; she asks what that is, and so he goes to tell that he knows what she can do with people's hearts, and he would like for her to do that to him. Cora asks if Will really knows what he's asking for, to which the future Knave replies that he does. Cora reminds him that he won't be able to love again, but Will would rather feel nothing than to feel like this; he tells her to do it. Without any hesitation, Cora reaches into Will's chest and removes his heart. This causes an intense pain at first, but once getting over it, Will realizes he feels much better. He asks what Cora plans on doing with it, now that it's no longer in his chest; the Queen reveals that, as she removes a small bag to keep the heart in, she'll keep it somewhere safe so it won't cause him anymore trouble, and that now she thinks it'd be best for everyone if he be on his way. Will agrees, and grabs his bag, and begins doing so.
Back in the present day, Alice and Cyrus travel through the forest; Cyrus, who wants clarification, asks that, to be clear, Alice got Will his heart back, but didn't actually put it back in his chest. Alice confirms this, stating that Will had gotten use to the emptiness. However, the couple soon approach the White Rabbit's home, where the discover two guards exiting. The White Rabbit follows, and once they're gone, Alice questions who they were. Rabbit reveals that they're former soldiers, and that Ana asked him to find anyone who would pitch in for the upcoming war against Jafar, but that it's not going well. Alice and Cyrus follow the Rabbit back into his home, who states that the problem is the soldiers have nothing to believe in, and that they need a leader to guide them in what's right and just. Alice interrupts him, however, stating that they need to take a trip. "Now?" the White Rabbit questions. Alice reveals that if they don't find Will then it won't matter how many soldiers they rally up because it won't be enough to defeat Jafar. Rabbit sighs, but asks for the location. Alice states that it's the very location he found Will in the first place. "Where's that?" Cyrus asks, to which Alice reveals it's a town called Storybrooke.
Welcome to Storybrooke.
An explosion is heard, and the ground of the road outside the clock tower of Storybrooke, Maine is seen with a gigantic hole having been formed. "Welcome to Storybrooke," the White Rabbit exclaims as Alice and Cyrus brush themselves off. The couple look around, and Alice lets out her trade mark saying, "Curiouser and curiouser." A car approaches them, swerving past Alice, after Cyrus pulls her out of the way. He comments that out of all the lands he traveled to, he's never seen something quite like that (referring to the car.) Rabbit looks over at the establishment, The Rabbit Hole, and lets out a "Hmm," as another car drives by, with the driver blaring music as they go past. Alice exclaims that the land they're in is quite loud; the Rabbit ushers them to follow him, stating that the Knave's place is this way, and that they'll know it by the smell.
A door opens, and in comes Alice, Cyrus, and the White Rabbit into Will's apartment. Cyrus comments that it appears to be a cave inside; Rabbit asks him to press the white button on the wall, which he does, causing the lights to turn on. This amazes the former genie, who keeps pressing the switch back and forth. Alice states that this is quite a step up from Will's wagon, adding that he has such nice things. Rabbit replies that he has a feeling most of it fell off the back of a truck, to which Alice asks how it got inside the apartment then. Rabbit tries explaining that it's a figure of speech, but ends up giving up. Everyone continues looking around, and Alice makes her way to the refrigerator where she presses down on the ice maker. Several cubes of the frozen liquid come shooting out, scaring the girl, who wonders how Will acquired such magic that could preserve ice like this. Rabbit corrects her that it's not magic, but electricity, an invisible energy that keeps the ice cold, the toaster hot, and can even turn darkness into light. "And that's not magic?" Alice questions, to which Rabbit replies, "Well, no." Cyrus, who continues playing with the light switch, asks how they can even be sure that they're in Will's home. "Well, there's this," the Rabbit reveals, leading the two to a drawing on the wall of the Red Queen with two darts attached to it. Alice comments that she's pretty sure it is his home.
Ana still ships ScarletQueen.
Back at the castle, inside the dungeons, Anastasia turns to Will, while still inside her own cell, telling her former lover that he should have just let Jafar kill her, to which Will asks what he would then do. Ana states that even without his heart, Will still chose to help her over himself. The former Knave states that he doesn't want blood on his hands, adding that it gets messy. Ana replies that he's no Knave, but a good man - the same good man she fell in love with all those years ago. However, Will doesn't believe this, as he says back to his former lover that she never really loved him, and she still doesn't. Ana asks how he could say that, to which he answers that she loves the memory of him, that she loves the times they had, and how simple things were before all this, but she still didn't love him. He says that if she did then she would have showed up at the wagon for him that day, all those years ago. Anastasia doesn't reply, but thinks about what her former lover just said.
Cora stops Ana from walking out on her wedding day.
In Wonderland of the past, at the castle, Anastasia is seen closing a bag which contains enough for her to run away with. She closes the wardrobe containing her wedding dress, and turns to leave, however, entering is none other than the Queen of Hearts, who questions if she's gotten cold feet. "Your majesty," Ana greets, going on to say that she was simply having the hardest time with her gown. Cora tells the young soon-to-be queen not to lie to her, but that she is about to make a terrible mistake. Anastasia corrects her, however, stating that she is actually about to fix one, if it's not too late. She makes her way past the Queen of Hearts, but before getting too far, she is ordered to stop. Cora suggests that this is all her fault, questioning if perhaps Ana isn't running to Will, but from her. Ana shakes her head, assuring that the Queen of Hearts has been wonderful, and that it's not her at all. This causes a seemingly genuine smile of relief to appear on Cora's face; she exclaims that she was worried she had scared Ana off with all her talk about how much potential she believes the girl has, and how special she thinks she is. "Special?" Ana asks. Cora apologizes, stating that it's not her place to say such things, and that she's sure she's heard it many times from her own mother. Ana is now trying to hold back tears as she shakes her head, exclaiming, "No, not really." Cora believes this to be a pity, as she sees Ana as a girl who wants to make a mark in the world. She goes on to say that someday they will all move on, and she proceeds to ask if Ana really wants to be buried behind an old wagon without even a stone to mark her grave, or does she wants thousands around to celebrate the glorious life she lived - the life she was meant for.
Where's Will? =O
Ana asks how Cora can be sure that was the life meant for her, to which the Queen of Hearts replies that she could have been a nobody, but she chose to be a Queen, she chose power over weakness. She tells the girl not to be shaken by the raving of "that lovesick man," and goes to say she is sure he spoke well - they always do - but they were lies. Ana argues that Will is many things, but he is not a liar; she adds that, "He's waiting for me," and she tries leaving once more. However, Cora asks, "Is he?" She points her finger at a mirror, using magic to show the two of them the old wagon Ana was suppose to meet Will at. the future Red Queen is shocked to see her lover is not there, and now believes he has abandoned her. "I don't see him, do you?" Cora asks, going on to say that Ana already pushed him aside once for a crown, and men don't forget that kind of betrayal. She adds that Will would never trust her again, or love her again, and that it's already too late. "No, it can't be," Ana refuses to believe. Cora tells Ana that he must have been trying to get back at her by ruining her special day and embarrassing her in front of all her friends. However, she tries to cheer her up by saying this part of her story is over now, and a new chapter is beginning where she can be a wonderful Queen. "Will you show me how?" Ana asks, which causes a smile to come across Cora's face, "Of course I will!" She hugs the future Red Queen, stating that she will teach her everything she needs to know.
Alice and Cyrus find a heart.
Back in Storybrooke, Alice and Cyrus are still searching Will's apartment in search of his heart. As Alice turns around, she accidentally knocks over a lamp, causing it to break. "There's another part of Will's life I've damaged," Alice exclaims, annoyed. Cyrus tells his true love she shouldn't blame herself for that, but Alice argues that if it wasn't for her then the Knave wouldn't be in trouble, but that he'd be safe and happy, and that the only bottles he'd worry about are the ones that are out of beer. Cyrus questions where she'd be otherwise; he reminds her that she'd still be locked up in an asylum and he'd still be in a cage. "So he should suffer so we can be happy?" Alice asks. Cyrus states otherwise, but asks for his true love to look around the apartment; he asks if it looks like Will was happy there. "He fetched you for a reason, Alice," Cyrus states, adding that he clearly wasn't the only one to leave someone in Wonderland. They both glance at the drawing of the Red Queen pinned to the wall, and Cyrus reminds his lover that this is Will's fight too. He then brings up the fact that Alice knows Will better than anyone, so he asks if she was him there where would she keep her heart. Alice thinks for a moment, as she looks around the apartment, and then suggests maybe with the person who broke it in the first place. They both glance back over at the drawing of Ana, and Alice proceeds to grab a dart. She throws it at the picture, and as Cyrus asks what she is doing, she removes the dart, which has caused a whole in the drawing. However, a red light glows from behind, revealing the location of Will's heart. Cyrus grabs a paper weight which he proceeds to use to smash through the wall, making it possible for Alice to reach inside and retrieve the box with the heart inside.
Will questions Ana's motives.
Will and Anastasia still remain in their cells at the Red Queen's castle; Ana states that she had no clue Will was heartless, to which Will replies that she couldn't possibly expect him to remain feeling the way he did for the rest of his life. This causes the former Queen extreme guilt, but Will states there is something he's always been dying to know. Ana asks what that is, and so Will goes on to state that Ana once said she wanted Jafar to change the laws of magic to make the impossible possible and go back and change their past. "That's right," Ana replies. Will asks what part she'd have changed; would she have left the Red King at the altar, or never said yes to his proposal, and never even go after the crown jewels. Ana reveals she would have never come to Wonderland, but instead stay with Will in Sherwood Forest; she wishes she had never set eyes on the Looking Glass, as she believes getting involved with magic is what started all of this. "Anastasia and Will. They already had all the magic we needed, right?" Ana asks, nearly in tears. "That they did," Will replies, refusing to look over at his former lover. The tears are now rolling down Ana's face.
The mother she never had...
In Wonderland of the past, at the royal castle, Anastasia, who is now known as the Red Queen, is dressed in a red gown, with her hair up, having gotten use to life as royalty. With her is the Queen of Hearts, who is now giving her lessons in magic. Cora, with the swift moves of her hands, causes a fire to appear and disappear within seconds. "Now it's your turn," she says to Anastasia, who proceeds to close her eyes and concentrate. After a few seconds, she proves to be unable; she apologizes to the Queen of Hearts, but is unable to get it to light. Cora assures her that if she keeps trying she'll get it eventually, but the Red Queen argues that she makes magic look so easy. Cora states that is all begins with a respect for the power itself, and the belief that she deserves such power. Anastasia sits down next to her new friends and ask if she may ask a question. "Of course," Cora exclaims, to which Ana proceeds to ask what exactly she uses the magic for. The Queen of Hearts smiles, and replies that to get whatever she wants. This amazes the Red Queen, but Cora corrects herself, stating that it can get you most things; there are a few restrictions in the laws of magic. Ana asks what those are, and is told that they are things not even the strongest magic can accomplish: you can't bring back the dead, you can't make someone love you, and you can't change the past.
...and the daughter she always wanted.
Anastasia doesn't exactly like the sound of that, and thus she gets up, but asks if the laws can be broken. "No, they cannot," Cora replies, "You say you want to learn, but something's holding you back. You're afraid. What is it?" Anastasia replies that she doesn't want the Red King to see what they are doing, knowing that he won't approve. However, the Queen of Hearts assures Ana that she doesn't need anyone's approval. She tells the young Queen that whoever made her think she was flawed or unworthy, she needs to take that pain of thinking they were right and use it as the root of her power and let it drive her magic, proving they were all wrong. Anastasia does as she was told, and thus causes a fire to form. "It worked!" she exclaims, happily, now putting her hands by the fire for warmth. "Feels good, doesn't it?" Cora asks, proud of her new pupil. "Wonderful," the Red Queen replies, now laughing wickedly. She tells Cora that she doesn't understand why the King is so against it, to which Cora replies she's sure Ana won't have to worry about him too much longer. The two women smile at this, and admire the fire Anastasia has created.
Back in present day Wonderland, the portal opens, returning Alice, Cyrus, and the White Rabbit with Will's heart in tow. "We have the Knave's heart, now we just have to hide it," Cyrus exclaims. Alice states if the Jabberwocky can read their thoughts then it has to go some place where neither of them know, that way, whatever they do to them, it'll remain hidden. The Rabbit questions how they're going to do that; however, before anyone can reply, something catches Cyrus' attention. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out the compass he retrieved from the Caterpillar. "Something's happening," he exclaims, as the arrows in the compass spin out of control. He turns in the direction the arrows point, and Alice points out that it has found something; she suggests they follow it and see. However, this proves to be no good, as Jafar makes himself known, carrying with him his serpent staff. Alice orders the Rabbit run for safety, as Cyrus reminds him he has a family to protect. The white animal does so, while Jafar points the couple have been quite helpful, having saved him a trip to Storybrooke. He states that the Knave told him all about it, and now orders they hand over the heart.
Amara saves the day...not that they know that yet.
Alice refuses, stating that she won't do it, not ever. "Have it your way," Jafar exclaims, slamming his staff into the ground, causing magic to burst out, throwing the two. Jafar picks up the box containing the heart, and tells Alice that it was a pleasure doing business with her, but now it is time to say goodbye to them both for good. Cyrus runs towards Jafar, despite Alice's cries for him not to. Jafar tries using his staff to shoot out magic, but the object appears to be fighting back. It instead throws Jafar backwards, giving Cyrus time to grab the staff. Jafar orders that he put it down, stating that he shouldn't play with toys that don't belong to him. Jafar tries to retrieve the staff, but it continues to resist him, blowing him away, and protecting Cyrus. Jafar gives up and runs away with the heart. Alice stands to her feet, and asks how her true love did that. "I didn't do anything," Cyrus exclaims, causing the two to examine the staff.
Cyrus holds the staff in his hand, admiring it, which Alice exclaims that they've failed; Jafar has the heart, so there's no stopping him now. "I'm not so sure about that," Cyrus replies before digging through his pocket and pulling out the Lost and Found. "Tell me what you see," he says, handing the compass to his true love. He proceeds to walk around Alice, carrying the staff with him. "The needle, it's following you," Alice exclaims. However, Cyrus questions if it's following him, or if it's actually following the staff. He plunges the stick into the ground and steps aside; the needle remains pointed at the staff. "I don't understand, how is that possible?" Cyrus states that when Jafar tried to kill him, the staff fought back, as if it was resisting him. He then takes the compass, and states that his mother always said it'd lead him back to her, "And now- she was always fascinated by serpents, how they were able to change - to evolve." He goes on to say their house was always full of renderings of serpents; pictures, carvings. Alice questions if Cyrus believes the staff could be his mother, to which Cyrus asks if she does, herself. He states that he knows it's impossible, but if there's a chance he's right, "Then we free her," Alice interrupts. Cyrus agrees, but states that one question remains: how?
Will gets his heart back.
At the Red Queen's Castle, in her cell, Anastasia apologizes to Will, to which he replies, "Don't start getting all mushy on me." However, Ana apologizes once more, but this time adding that she's sorry for trying to use magic to win him back, and that there a laws for a reason, which are not meant to be broken. She adds that she knows he may never be able to love her again, but asks if there is a chance he could forgive her. Will turns to his former lover, stating that she knows as well as he does that anything is possible in Wonderland. Ana replies that she hopes Jafar doesn't succeed, but she does hope Will gets his heart back, as she does believe he deserves to feel something for someone, even if it's not her. The dungeon doors open, and in comes the Jabberwocky, followed by Jafar. Will's cell is opened, and the beast retrieves him as Jafar gets his heart out of the box. As the Jabberwocky holds Will still, Jafar exclaims, "This might sting a bit." With that, he plunges the heart back into Will's chest, causing him to let out a loud scream.
Anastasia is murdered in front of her true love.
"Will, Will, look at me!" Ana shouts, with joy in her voice. Will gets up off the ground and sees his former lover, "Ana..." he exclaims. He approaches her cell, and the two passionately kiss, despite the bars in between them. They ignore everything else around them, and instead enjoy their happy reunion. However, this is soon cut short as the Jabberwocky grabs a hold of Will and pulls him back. Ana's cell is then opened as Will is punished and locked back in his own. Jafar grabs the former Red Queen and pulls her to his side as he retrieves a knife from his pocket. Will sees them, and starts screaming for him not to, begging that he spare his true love. "Let's make sure that heart of yours is still working, shall we?" Jafar exclaims, as Will continues to shout for him not to. Jafar then plunges the knife into Anastasia, and brings her to the ground as she slowly dies, all the while Will screams out his true loves name. "I'll kill you! I swear, I'll kill you!" Will shouts at Jafar, as Anastasia's eyes close, signifying that she is now dead.
- The title card of this episode features the Serpent staff.
- The title of this episode was confirmed by writer Katie Wech, via her Twitter account, on January 13, 2014.
This episode garnered 3.51 million viewers, marking a slight increase in ratings - a cherished rarity for Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
This episode received very positive reviews from critics.
- Christine Orlando of TV Fanatic said of the episode, "Of all the things I didn't see coming, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Season 1 Episode 11's final scene made the top of the list. It was beautiful and heartbreaking and added yet another twist to this unique and unpredictable story." She finished her review by showing intrigue as to what would follow, "Now Will has to fight Alice and Cyrus in the hopes that Jafar's plan to change the rules of magic will allow him to bring Anastasia back. But will there be unforeseen consequences if they do? As we all know, magic comes at a price. That's one rule I doubt will change."
- Alice, a user at The Televixen, expressed deep excitement following the episode, saying, "Oh boy I love this episode of Wonderland! Alice and Cyrus get into prank-like shenanigans, the serpent staff rebels against its master, and we FINALLY get to meet Cora!" She finished her review by expressing a deep hatred for Jafar, with this episode's ending having been the straw that broke the camel's back as far as she was concerned; "Seriously Jafar, you turned your former lover into a staff so you could still use her power, you keep your father in a jail cell because killing him doesn’t have the same satisfaction, and you STAB Ana — real imagination there!"
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.
- ↑ Katie Wech tweet.
- ↑ Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Review: Dagger Through the Heart, by Christine Orlando, TV Fanatic (March 20, 2014)
- ↑ Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Heart of the Matter, by Alice, The Televixen (March 27, 2014)